Having never been to one, I didn’t know what to expect. Instead of taking the Metro, I decided to walk to the Palais de Congres to see if there was any outdoor activity. Minimal police and army presence, although they might be well-hidden. I expect that this is a more low-key event than it would be if it was sited in the US or if it was something like a World Bank or IMF-related event. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are huge players at the UNFCCC/COP so it’s not like they were relegated to the cold drizzly weather outside. Indeed, there were no protests of any kind outside. Just a couple of cold LaRouchians at a small table (yes, followers of Lyndon LaRouche).

Went to a plenary session. The plenary was booooring but I was prepared for this. My colleague in the Faculty of Law, who actually studies international agreements, said that she would have to study the protocol and other agenda items to even begin to understand what was going on in a plenary. For me, these giant meetings were unintelligible.

Of course, I’m interested in what the environmental NGOs are doing and they are all over the place. Equiterre, a local NGO, is organizing the local activities of the eNGOs. The Climate Action Network (CAN) is the big international player–they have a meeting every day to strategize the actions of the relatively large number of old hand NGOs, organizations that have been to many COPs. CAN will be publishing the official newsletter of the conference here but it’s most important manifestation is the paper version.

Comments are closed.